A little while back, I found a youtube video explaining how to make a vampire fighting kit. It included instructions for cutting cavities in foam padding inside the chest for all of the various items to fit in snugly. This protects them from damage and keeps them from rattling around. I decided to steal this method for the inside of the hollow book where I keep the pieces of the broken heart of my Cottington Woods character, both to make it look nicer and hopefully, to keep the little cogs and gears from breaking off.
Here is the hollow book I carry the heart around in.
When I first bought it, I was actually looking for a little treasure chest to keep the heart in, but I liked the way the cover looked like an illuminated book of fairy tales, which is both extremely appropriate for both the fairy tale setting of Cottington Woods, and my character Quill, who is an illuminator.
And here are my supplies for the project.
Foam (actually padding meant for making furniture cushions), scissors to cut the foam, hot glue, a yellow marker, and some red fabric leftover from a project where I made mozettas for the bishops in Venezia, a Renaissance theater LARP.
First I cut out a rectangle of the foam that would fit the internal dimensions of the hollow book. Then I traced the pieces of the heart onto the foam with the yellow marker and cut out foam inside the tracing, about halfway down through the foam, so that it would create hollows for the pieces to fit in.
The broken heart, by the way, was made by cutting a heart out of craft foam, cutting it in half along a jagged line, spray painting it gold, then hot gluing lots of little cogs and gears onto the foam. There’s also a broken wooden necklace charm, which I spotted already broken in the crafts store, so I bought it for pennies. It really lends credence to the “cracked in half” look.
I also decided to cut a cavity in the foam for the innards of a music box. Initially, I thought it might be a way to wind my character (she’s a wind up doll with clockwork parts), but the music is so quiet that I sort of gave up on the idea of connecting it to my giant wind-up key. How it works with my character now, I’m not entirely sure yet, but it looks very appropriate and plays “Fur Elise” when you turn the crank. (Cottington Woods players may hear the name “Elise” come up in game.)
Then I hot glued a piece of the red fabric over the foam, starting with the fabric over the cavities to make sure it fit into the corners and didn’t just stretch over the top of the cavities. And then I glued the whole thing into the book.
And that’s it! It seemed to go over well at Cottington Woods. Now I just need a more secure way to lock it than a simple lock, which any rogue can pick. That’s no good, even though it’s essentially sentimental junk.
Someone might steal my heart away.